Palynology of the Permian succession from the Ajabshir area (Azerbaijan, Central Iran): a preliminary report

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Physics and Geology Department-University of Perugia, Italy

2 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (UK)

3 Department of Physics and Geology – University of Perugia (Italy)

4 Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

5 Pars Geological Research Center (Arian Zamin)


Permian stratigraphic sequences are widely distributed throughout Iranian, making this one of the best locations in the world to study
15 this geological time interval. Nevertheless, some units lack detailed biostratigraphic characterization which is essential for
16 palaeogeographic reconstructions. This preliminary study comprises a palynological assessment of a Permian stratigraphic section
17 cropping out in the Ajabshir area (SW Azerbaijan, NW Iran). The continuous and relatively well-exposed Ajabshir section comprises
18 Unit 3 of the Dorud Formation and the Nesen and Ruteh formation In this area, the Dorud Formation starts with the Unit 3
19 unconformably overlying the Mila Formation, with its lower units missing. Unit 3 (48 m thick) is characterized by sandstones with
20 siltstones and shale intercalations and an upward increase of limestones. The overlying Ruteh Formation (192 m thick) consists
21 mainly of carbonates with scattered coarse sandstone intercalations and dolomitic limestones


Article Title [Persian]

Palynology of the Permian succession from the Ajabshir area (Azerbaijan, Central Iran): a preliminary report

Keywords [Persian]

  • Northwestern Iran
  • Iranian Azerbaijan
  • palynology
  • Guadalupian-Lopingian
Aghanabati, A., 2004. Geology of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, Report (in Persian).
Alavi,  M.,  1991a.  Sedimentary  and  structural  characteristics  of  the  Paleo-Tethys  remnants in  northeastern  Iran. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 103: 983–992.##
Alavi, M., 1991b. Tectonic Map of the Middle East. Geological Survey of Iran.##
Aldinucci, M., Brogi, A., Spina, A., 2008. Middle-Late Permian sporomorphs from the Farma Formation (Monticiano-Roccastrada Ridge, southern Tuscany): new constraints for the tectono-sedimentary history of the Tuscan Domain. Stratigraphy and palaeogeography of late-and post-Hercynian basins in the Southern Alps, Tuscany and Sardinia (Italy). Bollettino della Società Geologica Italiana, 127(3): 581–597.##
Altiner, D., Baud, A., Guex, J., Stampfli, G., 1980. Le limite Permien–Trias dans quelques
localite´s du Moyen-Orient: recherches stratigraphiques et micropaléontologiques. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 85: 683–710.##
Angiolini, L., Stephenson, M.H., 2008. Lower Permian brachiopods and palynomorphs from the Dorud Formation (Alborz Mountains, north Iran): new evidence for their palaeobiogeographic affinity. Fossils and Strata, 54: 117–132.##
Aria-Nasab, M., Spina, A., Cirilli, S., Daneshian, J., 2016. The palynostratigraphy of the Lower Carboniferous (middle Tournaisian–upper Viséan) Shishtu Formation from the Howz-e-Dorah section, southeast Tabas, central Iranian Basin. Palynology, 40(2): 247–263.##
Assereto, R., (1963). The Paleozoic formations in Central Elburz (Iran). Rivista Italiana di
Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 69(4): 503–543.##
Azcuy, C. L., Ottone, G., 1987. Datos palinológicos de la Formación Retama en la Encañada de Beu,  Río Alto Beni (Bolivia). 4º Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontología (Santa Cruz de la Sierra): 235–249.##
Baghbani, D., 1997. Correlation of selected Permian strata from Iran. Permophiles, 30: 24–25.##
Balme, B.E., 1970. Palynology of Permian and Triassic strata in the Salt range and Surghar range, West Pakistan. University Press of Kansas.##
Balme, B.E., 1980. Palynology and the Carboniferous‐Permian boundary in Australia and other
Gondwana continents. Palynology, 4(1): 43–55.##
Berberian, M., King, G.C.P., 1981. Towards a Paleogeography and tectonic evolution of Iran.
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 18(2): 210–265.##
Bozorgnia, H., 1973. Paleozoic Foraminiferal Biostratigraphy of Central and East Alborz Mountains, Iran. National Iranian Oil Company (Geological Laboratory), 4.##
Chateauneuf, J.J., Stampfli, G., 1978. Palynoflore permo-triasique de l’Elbourz oriental. Notes
Laboratoire Paléontologie Université Genève, 2(8): 45–54.##
Cirilli, S., Pirini, C., Ponton, M., Radrizzani, S., 1998. Stratigraphical and palaeoenvironmental
analysis of the Permian- Triassic transition in the Badia Valley (Souther Alps, Italy). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 138(1-4): 85–113.##
Clayton, G., Coquel, R., Doubinger, J., Gueinn, K.J., Loboziak, S., Owens, B., Streel, M., 1977.
Carboniferous miospores of Western Europe: illustration and zonation. Meded Rijks Geol Dienst. 29: 1–71.##
Clayton, G., Owens, B., Al–Hajri, S., Filatoff, J., 2000. Latest Devonian and early Carboniferous
miospore assemblages from Saudi Arabia. In: Al–Hajri, S., Owens, B., editors, Stratigraphic
Palynology of the Palaeozoic of Saudi Arabia. GeoArabia Spec Publ. 1: 146–153. Bahrain, Saudi
Coquel, R., Moreau–Benoit, A., 1986. Les spores des séries struniennes et tournaisiennes de Libye  occidentale. Revue de Micropaléontologie, 29(1): 17–43.##
Darvishzadeh, A., 1991. Geology of Iran. Neda Publication, Tehran, 1–901.##
Ebrahim–Nejad, M.E., Vachard, D., Siabeghodsy, A.A., Abbasi, S., 2015. Middle–Late Permian
(Murgabian–Djulfian) foraminifers of the northern Maku area (western Azerbaijan, Iran).
Palaeontologia Electronica, 18(1): 1–63.##
Eftekharnejad, J. (1975). Brief history and structural development of Azarbaijan. Geological Survey of Iran (pp. 1–8).Internal Report.##
Foster, C. B., Waterhouse, J.B., 1988. The Granulatisporites confluens Oppel–zone and Early Permian marine faunas from the Grant Formation on the Barbwire Terrace, Canning Basin, Western Australia. Journal of the Geological Society of Australia, 35(2): 135–157.##
Gaetani, M., Garzanti, E., Polino, R., Kiricko, Y., Korsakhov, S., Cirilli, S., Nicora, A.,
Rettori, R., Larghi, C., Bucefalo Palliani, R. 2005. Stratigraphic evidence for Cimmerian events in NW Caucasus (Russia). Bulletin de la Société géologique de France, 176(3): 283–299.##
Gaetani, M., Angiolini, L., Ueno, K., Nicora, A., Stephenson, M. H., Sciunnach, D., Rettori, R.,
Price, G.D., Sabouri, J., 2009. Pennsylvanian–Early Triassic stratigraphy in the Alborz Mountains
(Iran). Geological Society, London, SpecialPublications, 312(1): 79–128.##
Gaetani, M., Nicora, A., Henderson, C., Cirilli, S., Gale, L., Rettori, R., Vuolo, I., Atudorei,
V., 2013. Refinements in the Upper Permian to Lower Jurassic stratigraphy of Karakorum, Pakistan. Facies, 59(4): 915–948.##
Galasso, F., Fernandes, P., Montesi, G., Marques, J., Spina, A., Pereira, Z., 2019. Thermal history and basin evolution of the Moatize–Minjova Coal Basin (N'Condédzi sub–basin, Mozambique) constrained by organic maturation levels. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 153: 219–238.##
Galasso, F., Pereira, Z., Fernandes, P., Spina, A., & Marques, J., 2019. First record of
Permo–Triassic palynomorphs of the N’Condédzi sub–basin, Moatize–Minjova Coal Basin, Karoo
Supergroup, Mozambique. Revue de Micropaléontologie, 64: Article 100357.##             Garbelli, C., Angiolini, L., Brand, U., Jadoul, F., 2014. Brachiopod fabric, classes and
biogeochemistry: implications for the reconstruction and interpretation of seawater carbon–isotope  curves and records. Chemical Geology, 371: 60–67.##
Geyer, G., Bayet–Goll, A., Wilmsen, M., Mahboubi, A., Moussavi–Harami, R., 2014. Lithostratigraphic  revision of the middle Cambrian (‘Series’ 3) and upper Cambrian (Furongian) in northern and central Iran. Newsletters on Stratigraphy, 47(1): 21–59.##
Ghaderi, A., Leda, L., Schobben, M., Korn, D., & Ashouri, A.R., 2014. High–resolution stratigraphy of the Changhsingian (Late Permian) successions of NWIran and the Transcaucasus based on lithological features, conodonts and ammonoids. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Fossil Record, 17(1): 41.##
Ghavidel–syooki, M., 1993. Palynological study of Palaeozoic sediments of the Chal–i–sheh area, southwestern Iran. J. Sci., Islamic Republic of Iran, 4: 32–46.##
Ghavidel–syooki, M., 1994. Biostratigraphy and Paleo–biogeography of some Paleozoic rocks at Zagros and Alborz mountains. In: Hushmandzadeh A. (Ed.) – Treatise on the Geology of Iran. Ministry of Mines and Metals: 1–169, Geological Survey of Iran.##
Ghavidel–syooki, M., 1995. Palynostratigraphy of Sarchahan (lower Silurian) and Faraghan Formations (Devonian and Lower Permian) in Kuh–e–Gahkum, Zagros Basin. Geological Survey of Iran, Geosciences, Sci. Quart. J., 4: 74–79##
Ghavidel–syooki, M., 1997. Palynostratigraphy and palaeogeography of Early Permian strata in the Zagros Basin, Southeast–southwest Iran. J. Sci. Islamic Republic of Iran, 8: 243–261.##
Ghorbani, M., 2013. A summary of geology of Iran. In: The Economic Geology of Iran. Springer, Dordrecht: 45–64. Ghorbani, M., 2019. Lithostratigraphy of Iran. Springer, Dordrecht.
Innocenti, F., Manetti, P., Mazzuoli, R., Pasquare, G., Villari, L., 1982. Anatolia and
north–western Iran. In: R.S. Thorpe (Ed.), Andesites. Orogenic Andesites and Related Rocks. Wiley, Chichester, 327–349.##
Innocenti, F., Mazzuoli, R., Pasquare, G., Di Brozolo, F. R., Villari, L., 1976. Evolution of the
volcanism in the area of interaction between the Arabian, Anatolian and Iranian plates (Lake Van,  Eastern Turkey). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1(2): 103–112.##
Iranian –Japanese Research Group, 1981. The Permian and the Lower Triassic Systems in Abadeh  region, Central Iran. Memoirs Faculty Sciences, Kyoto University, Series. Geology & Mineralogy, 47, (2): 61–133.##
Jenny, J., Stampfli, G., 1978. Lithostratigraphie du Permien de l’Elbourz oriental en Iran. Eclogae Geologiae Helvetiae, 71: 551–580.##
Lazzarotto, A., Aldinucci, M., Cirilli, S., Costantini, A., Decandia, F. A., Pandeli, E., Spina, A.
2003. Stratigraphic correlation of the Upper Palaeozoic–Triassic successions in southern Tuscany, Italy. Bollettino della Società Geologica Italiana, Special Volume, 2: 25–35.##
Mangerud, G., 1994. Palynostratigraphy of the Permian and lowermost Triassic succession, Finnmark Platform, Barents Sea. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 82(3–4): 317–349.##
Massa D, Coquel R, Loboziak S, Taugourdeau–Lantz J., 1980. Essai de synthese stratigraphique et palynologique du Carbonifere en Libye occidentale. Ann Soc Geol Nord, 99: 429–442.##
Mousavi, Z., Walpersdorf, A., Walker, R. T., Tavakoli, F., Pathier, E., Nankali, H.R.E.A.,
Nilfouroushan, F., Djamour, Y., 2013. Global Positioning System constraints on the active tectonics of NE Iran and the South Caspian region. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 377: 287–298.##
Nabavi, M.H., 1976. An introduction to geology of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran.##
Nogol–e–Sadat, A., 1993. Seismotectonic Map of Iran, scale, 1: 1,000,000; Trea–tise on the geology of Iran, 128. Geological Survey of Iran, Tehran (in Persian).##
Ouyang, S., Utting, J., 1990. Palynology of Upper Permian and Lower Triassic rocks, Meishan,
Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, China. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 66(1–2): 65–103.##
Partoazer, H., 1995. Permian deposits in Iran. Treatise on the geologyof Iran. Geol. Sur. Iran 22: 1–133.##
Playford G. 1990. Australian lower Carboniferous miospores relevant to extra–Gondwanic
correlations: an evaluation. Cour Forsch Senck. 130: 85–125.##
Ruttner, A., Nabavi, M. H., Hajian, J., 1968. Geology of the Shirgesht Area (Tabas area, East
Iran). Geological Survey of Iran, Report 4: 5–133.##
Schito, A., Corrado, S., Trolese, M., Aldega, L., Caricchi, C., Cirilli, S., Grigoe, D., Guedes,
A., Romano, C., Spina, A., Valentim, B., 2017. Assessment of thermal evolution of Paleozoic
successions of the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 80: 112–132.##
Schito, A., Spina, A., Corrado, S., Cirilli, S., Romano, C., 2019. Comparing optical and Raman
spectroscopic investigations  of  phytoclasts  and  sporomorphs  for  thermal  maturity  
assessment:  the  case  study  of  Hettangian continental facies in the Holy cross Mts. (central Poland). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 104: 331–345.##
Setudehnia, A., 1975. The Palaeozoic sequence at Kuh–e–Dinar and Zard Kuh. Iranian Petroleum  Institute, Bulletin 60: 16–33.##
Shabanian, R., Bagheri, M., 2008. Permian in Northwest of Iran. Permophiles, 51: 28–31.##
Spina, A., Cirilli, S., Utting, J., Jansonius, J., 2015. Palynology of the Permian and Triassic of
the Tesero and Bulla sections (Western Dolomites, Italy) and consideration about the enigmatic species Reduviasporonites chalastus. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 218: 3–14.##
Spina, A., Stephenson, M. H., Cirilli, S., Aria–Nasab, M., Rettori, R., 2018a. Palynostratigraphy
of the Permian Faraghan Formation in the Zagros Basin, southern Iran. Rivista Italiana di
Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 124(3): 573–595.##
Spina, A., Vecoli, M., Riboulleau, A., Clayton, G., Cirilli, S., Di Michele, A., Marcogiuseppe, A.,
Rettori, R., Sassi, P.,Servais, T., Riquier, L., 2018b. Application of Palynomorph Darkness Index (PDI) to assess the thermal maturity of palynomorphs: A case study from North Africa. International Journal of Coal Geology, 188: 64–78.##
Spina, A., Vecoli, M., 2009. Palynostratigraphy and vegetational changes in the Siluro–Devonian of the Ghadamis Basin, North Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 282(1–4):1–18.##
Spina, A., Capezzuoli, E., Brogi, A., Cirilli, S., Liotta, D., 2019. Mid–to late Permian
microfloristic evidence in the metamorphic successions of the Northern Apennines: insights for
age–constraining and palaeogeographical correlations. Journal of the Geological Society, 176(6): 1262–1272.##
Stepanov, D.L., Golshani, F., Stöcklin, J., 1969. Upper Permian and Permian–Triassic boundary in North Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, 12: 71.##
Stephenson, M.H., 2006. Stratigraphic Note: Update of the standard Arabian Permian palynological biozonation; definition and description of the OSPZ5 and 6. GeoArabia, 11: 484 173–178.##
Stephenson, M.H., 2008. Spores and pollen from the middle and upper Gharif members (Permian) of Oman. Palynology, 32: 157–182.##
Stephenson, M.H., 2018. Permian palynostratigraphy: a global overview. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 450(1): 321–347.##
Stephenson, M.H., Osterloff, P.L., Filatoff, J., 2003. Palynological biozonation of the Permian of
Oman and Saudi Arabia: progress and challenges. GeoArabia, 8: 467–496##
Stöcklin, J., 1968. Structural history and tectonics of Iran: a review. AAPG bulletin, 52(7):
Stöcklin, J., Ruttner, A., Nabavi, M.H., 1964. New data on the Lower Paleozoic and Precambrian of North Iran. Geological Survey of Iran, Report 1, 13.##
Stöcklin, J., Setudehnia, A., 1991. Stratigraphic Lexicon of Iran. Tehran, Iran: Geological Survey
of Iran, Report 18. Stolle, E., 2007. Regional Permian palynological correlations: Southeast
Turkey–Northern Iraq. Comun Geol, 94: 125–143.##
Stolle E., Yalçin M.N., Kavak O., 2011. The Permian Kas Formation of SE Turkey – palynological
correlation with strata from Saudi Arabia and Oman. Geol. J., 46(6): 561–573.##
Turnau, E., 1978. Spore zonation of uppermost Devonian and Lower Carboniferous deposits of Western Pomerania (NPoland). Meded.Rijks. Geol. Dienst. 30: 1–35##
Utting, J., 1987. Palynostratigraphic investigation of the Albert Formation (Lower Carboniferous)
of New Brunswick, Canada. Palynology, 11(1): 73–96.##
Utting, J., Esaulova, N.K., Silantiev, V.V., Makarova, O.V., 1997. Late Permian palynomorph
assemblages from Ufimian and Kazanian type sequences in Russia and comparison with Roadian and Wordian assemblages from the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 34: 1–16.##
Utting, J., Spina, A., Jansonius, J., McGregor, D. C., Marshall, J.E., 2004. Reworked miospores in the Upper Paleozoic and Lower Triassic of the northern circum‐polar area and selected localities. Palynology, 28(1): 75–119.##
Vecoli, M., Delabroye, A., Spina, A., Hints, O., 2011. Cryptospore assemblages from Upper
Ordovician (Katian–Hirnantian) strata of Anticosti Island, Québec, Canada, and Estonia: palaeophytogeographic and palaeoclimatic implications. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 166(1–2): 76–93.##
Yin, H., Zhang, K., Tong, J., Yang, Z., Wu, S., 2001. The Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the Permian–Triassic Boundary. Episodes, 24: 102–114.##
Zanchi, A., Zanchetta, S., Garzanti, E., Balini, M., Berra, F., Mattei, M., Muttoni, G., 2009. The
Cimmerian evolution of the Nakhlak–Anarak area, Central Iran, and its bearing for the
reconstruction of the history of the Eurasian margin. Geol. Soc., London, Spec. Publ., 312:

Volume 10, Issue 1
January 2020
Pages 211-225
  • Receive Date: 29 February 2020
  • Revise Date: 14 March 2020
  • Accept Date: 29 February 2020
  • First Publish Date: 29 February 2020